Assembly George Square Theatre
August 7-28 (not 14, 21) / 15:00
Stagecraft : Performance : Gasps :
SNAP! is a charming and curious show produced by Casa Kim, from a performing troupe that is just one of the 19 groups who are performing as part of the third Korean Season at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. SNAP! is a spellbinding creatton that whisks you gently into a fantasy world of magical illusions,and provides an enchanting outing for the whole family. The show won Best Production at the Asian Arts Awards in 2016 and this year, seven of the top illusionists in South Korea have returned to expertly lead us through an unusual fantasy experience; magic interwoven with cheeky comedy and clever mime.
The show opened with fingershapes projected onto a screen. Not just standard bunny ears; but deft, practised fingers which along with perfectly timed sound effects, are able to conjure fully formed vicious barking dogs and Frank Sinatra in full flow. The entire show both needed and had a breathtaking integration with the sound and lighting. There was the odd split second delay, at times, but barely noticeable at the rate some of the illusions are going at, which feels like lightning speed. So fast, at times, that you’re likely to be missing the subtlety of a trick or two and that it wouldn’t be amiss to see the show for a second time.
There’s a solid looking door on stage, which opens the way to the magicians’ fantasy worlds. Each time the door opens, we are privy to peeking in to a series of beautiful and soothing dreamscapes, each one dramatic and ethereal in a variety of ways. Each of the seven men embodies a character such as The Alchemist, the Florist, the Oddball or The Dreamer. The three funny Tricksters in their stripey vintage costumes remind us of the silent slapstick of Laurel and Hardy or Harold Lloyd, anchoring the show with short skits like walking through Edinburgh getting pasted with flyers, as we alternate between different realities.
There are moments that are funny and impossible to work out; like the mischievous glove that seems to work entirely of its own accord, or the red ribbon that whistles through the air at odd moments. Clever scenes that juxtapose screen reality and 3-D reality, until we are confused about which is which. Creepy scenes like the strange, unexplained happenings in the artist’s studio. Breathtaking scenes as hoops inextricably disappear and transform into glitter.
Like a highly sophisticated and professional variety show, SNAP! is wonderful and truly novel in its entire scope, gentle and enchanting for children, but quirky and intriguing enough for adults. It manages to feel old fashioned but incredibly modern simultaneously, with its unusual and inventive illusions. But let me not spoil the show. Get down to the Assembly George Square Theatre and enjoy the ride.
Reviewer: Lisa Williams